York Cricket Club is proud to boast one of the strongest junior sections in the county. With over one hundred junior cricketers training and playing competitive matches every week of the junior summer season, the club is a breeding ground for County Club hopefuls and Yorkshire Premier League Champions. The Club has 16 Level 2 Coaches, spearheaded by former International cricketer and ten year Scotland Coach, Jim Love. With some of the finest playing and training facilities to be found anywhere in the North of England, York CC offers the perfect environment for first class and even international cricketers of Tomorrow.
York suffered an opening day Premier League defeat for the first time since 2015 losing to Woodhouse Grange by five wickets at a bright but bracing Clifton Park. The home side were without their new captain Ryan McKendry, side-lined through injury, and Simon Lambert (precautionary covid self-isolation) as they began the season against one of their closest rivals in recent years.
Duncan Snell and Guy Darwin shared a second wicket partnership of 121 following the early loss of Finlay Bean, who returns to the club after spending the previous YPLN season (2019) with Yorkshire Academy. There was perhaps an air of expectation that Snell would become the first York batsman to reach a half-century, and the prolific left-hander did not disappoint, passing the ‘mark for the 42nd time in his 84th innings in the competition. Off-spinner Chris Suddaby captured the prized wicket in the 32nd over with the total on 148, but the stand-in captain left the crease for 76 off 99 balls with his side in a commanding position.
Wickets in consecutive overs from Tom Neal brought the visitors back in to the game and in truth the home side squandered what had been a strong position reaching 245-9 from their 50 overs when a total nearer 300 had looked within reach. Darwin had looked to be heading for a century but had to settle instead for a Premier League best 85, his innings ending in disappointment when a mix up in calling with the newly arrived Tom Brooks left both batsmen at the same end the score at that stage had been 218-6 with five overs remaining. Apart from Snell and Darwin no York batsman scored more than Charlie Elliot’s 13, the off-spin of James Finch’s off-spin accounting for four late order wickets in the closing overs, the visiting captain finishing with 4-66 from 13 overs.
Jack Charters struck an early blow trapping Oscar Sugden lbw but by the time fellow opener Harry Gamble, a recent recruit from Beverley Town, was bowled by Tom Forsdike for 50 the score had reached 100-2. Chris Bilton (64) became the second ‘Grange batsman to pass 50, ‘keeper Brooks’ low catch giving Charters a second wicket, that after Clark Doughney had bowled Zimbabwean Jarryd Basson for 29. Forsdike’s second wicket brought together the sixth wicket pair of Tom Young and James Finch with 60 runs needed off the final 10 overs, a target achieved in some comfort with two overs to spare.
For those York supporters seeking solace following the performance the 2015 sides opening defeat culminated in a league title success in which Simon Lambert finished as the leading run scorer and Ryan McKendry their leading wicket-taker.
York took the first step towards semi-final qualification in the Yorkshire League North T20 a controlled innings from Duncan Snell who made 45 form 43 balls guiding them to a four wicket Group B win over Sheriff Hutton Bridge at Clifton Park. Three wickets each from Clark Doughney and Guy Darwin were also key factors in restricting the visitors to a total of 145 after they had made a strong start.
The visitors opening pair of Arthur Campion and Freddie Collins got the innings off to a brisk start, despite a quarter of an hour interruption for rain, sharing ten fours in the opening five overs and it was right at the end of that period that Doughney took the first of his wickets. Collins had dispatched three of the spinners first five deliveries to the boundary but over-balanced attempting a repeat and was stumped by Alex Liley. Tommy Hudson continued the good work Collins had begun and the scoring rate and the total passed 100 at the start of the thirteenth over. A second wicket partnership worth 55 from 48 balls was ended when Campion, who had scored 42, miscued a ball from Guy Darwin high off the leading edge and the bowler took a comfortable catch. Hudson fell in similar fashion this time Liley pouching the catch the batsman having scored 38 from only 30 balls. Matthew Roberts, making his premier league t20 debut, bowled with great control the spinner sending down 3.5 overs of spin at a cost of just 16 runs through to the close of the innings, conceding just one boundary. Visiting captain Mark Fisher was fourth out for just three Harry Adair taking a well-judged catch at long-on to give Darwin his third wicket with the score on 115, but it was the loss of three quick wickets that really put the brake on the scoring just as ‘Bridge should have been looking to accelerate through the closing overs. Roberts fellow spinner Doughney operating from the Shipton Road end picked up two wickets in the space of three balls including Tatenda Shuttleworth-Richardson for 13. Dave Henstock provided some late fireworks striking Doughney for the consecutive boundaries one of which was a maximum but he was then stumped off Roberts at the start of a final over which included two run out and saw the visitors bowled out for 145 with a ball to spare.
Freddie Collins should have had a wicket in the opening over of the hosts’ reply but the straight-forward catching chance offered by Harry Adair was put down, and although it would prove ultimately to be too costly it allowed York to get off to a flying start with 36 on the board before the third over had been completed. Charlie Elliot’s was the first wicket to fall, having taken two boundaries off the luckless Collins but an attempted third saw a leading-edge carry to Mark Fisher at mid-wicket. That was the first of three wickets to fall in as many overs Adair failed to control a cut stroke that climbed on him and Finlay Bean went after a wide ball, both shots resulting in catches for ‘keeper Nicholas Gill and after a bright start the home side found themselves 39 for three an needing to consolidate. Guy Darwin has discovered some good early season form with the bat and joined skipper Duncan Snell at the crease, their partnership of 39 from 28 balls bring the required rate down below a run-a-ball for the first time, the inclusion of eight wides in the opening ten overs also assisting the hosts cause. Darwin contributed 12 to the partnership before being caught at mid-off and when Matthew Roberts was caught by a diving Andy Frank at extra cover York had once again slipped behind the rate with 54 more required off 44 balls. What should have been the bonus of a free hit from a David Henstock no-ball back-fired when Alex Liley having failed to beat Mark Fisher with a drive was unable to re-make his ground and was run out. With the total on 116 for six and more than six an over required the home sides chances looked dependant on their captain remaining at the crease although in the closing stages he was outscored by Oliver Leedham. The critical over turned out to be the penultimate one off the innings bowled by Mark Fisher it began with 14 runs still required for victory but a lofted blow into the legside and an outside edge which ran away for four both from the bat of Leedham combined with some quick running reduced the target to two off the final six balls. The match concluded in somewhat bland circumstances, given it had been for the most part an absorbing contest, Matthew Bird sent down the sides fifteenth wide to bring the scores level and an eleventh leg-bye signalled an end to proceedings, a total of 28 extras the third highest contribution to the total.
Tom Forsdike was the hero of York’s latest nerve-shredding victory, the spinner picking up three wickets in the final over including two in two balls to close out the match and secure a five-run win against Woodhouse Grange.
The task for the fielding side was hampered when Jonathan Moxon had to withdraw from the attack having bowled four overs for just ten runs, and the move almost certainly took some of the early pressure off the Woodhouse’ openers. The departure of Andrew Bilton to neighbours Dunnington has been offset somewhat by the recruitment of Harry Gamble, Beverley Town’s leading premier league run scorer in 2019, and the new arrival made 25 before sending a catch to Duncan Snell at mid-off with the total on 72 at the start of the 14th over, fellow opener Tom Young having earlier departed caught at point by Harry Adair off Guy Darwin. Christopher Bilton is among the all-time leading run scorers in Yorkshire League North and was able to take advantage of a wicket pitched off centre demonstrating the full array of stroke play that has brought him nearly 3000 runs at this level. He brought up his fifty off 44 balls and when Henry Wilson matched the efforts of his captain albeit at a slightly slower rate of scoring the pair were in the mist of a partnership which looked to be taking control of the game. It needed a good ball from Clarke Doughney to alter the course of proceedings and he found it to bowl Wilson, and four overs later the youngster picked up the crucial wicket of Bilton, this time courtesy of an excellent catch to a diving Nick James at extra cover. That wicket came in the final over of the spinners spell and at a critical point in proceedings with a further 44 runs required from 36 balls. In the very next over Guy Darwin had Christopher Suddaby caught at wide mid-off by Alex Liley and in the space of a dozen balls ‘Grange lost three wickets when Stephen Burdett picked out Darwin fielding at long on to give Tom Forsdike his first wicket of the afternoon. Tight overs from Forsdike and Darwin increased the pressure on the batting side and tilted the equation in the visitors’ favour leaving 23 required from the final two overs. A six from Declan Eastwood off Snell in the penultimate over breathed new life into the contest and gave the home side renewed hope only for it to be tempered when Tom Neal was caught by Adair with five balls of the match remaining. A slip in the field gave Eastwood a much-needed boundary but then attempting to find what would have been a match winning maximum he was caught by Guy Darwin at long-on. It brought an end to an enterprising innings of 26 off just 17 balls but left Alfie Oliver to face the last ball knowing only a six would do. Thankfully for York his swing failed to connect and having strayed from his crease presented Tom Brooks with a stumping opportunity which the ‘keeper gleefully accepted. The chaos of the final over left Forsdike with back-to- back four wicket hauls, the fourth spinner to do so for the club in the Premier League North era.
The new season dawned belatedly under leaden skies and despite an assured half-century from first team debutant Alex Liley reigning Yorkshire League Champions Sheriff Hutton Bridge recorded their third consecutive victory in the league at Clifton Park, but this was the closest of them with a three wicket win coming with just three balls to spare.
Before play got underway players and officials from both sides gathered on the square to honour the memory of York cricket club captain Daniel Woods with a minutes silence, notable absentees from the scene were the trio of Simon Lambert, Ben Robinson and James Billington who all failed to return from a winter in Australia before travel sanctions were imposed. That led to the decision to move Guy Darwin up to open alongside skipper Duncan Snell and meant Alex Liley, who has progressed through the junior ranks at Clifton Park, joined new signing Harry Adair in making their debuts. Snell’s decision to bat first meant the visitors, who suffered several high-profile departures over the winter, had to contend with a wet ball throughout the innings as light showers became a feature of the early afternoon. Darwin lost both opening partner Snell and newcomer Adair inside the first 14 overs but a solid defence and a degree of patience was rewarded with a half-century off 74 balls including seven fours which was arrived at just after the mid-point of the home sides 40 over innings. A third wicket partnership of 46 alongside Nick James was the most productive of the innings, and it was the departure of James for 24 that brought Liley to the crease. The debutant had scored 16 and the total had reached 127 when Tommy Hudson took a fine over the shoulder running catch at backward point to dismiss Darwin (59) and give ‘Bridge’s new signing Matthew Bird the second of what would quickly become three wickets as the hosts lost three wickets in the space of four overs just as they should have been looking to accelerate. Jonathan Moxon struck some much needed boundaries either side of a rain break which saw tea taken and coupled with the intent from Liley, whose game looked well suited to the demands of the situation, 38 were added to the total in the space of four overs. Liley was dismissed for 52 off the first ball of the final over, an innings of 48 balls including four fours ended by a full delivery from Freddie Collins who struck again with the final ball of the innings to claim figures of 4-34 as the home side closed on 195-9.
York began well in the field Oliver Leedham rewarded for a tight new ball spell with the early wicket of Louis Foxton and when a slip from Adam Fisher left Arthur Campion stranded mid-pitch resulting in a run out the visitors found themselves 26-2 after 10 overs. The next 18 overs however belonged to the batting visiting skipper Fisher and Tommy Hudson taking full advantage as the change bowlers offered scoring opportunities on both sides of the wicket. The total moved on to 113 from 25 overs, with Hudson having passed 50 (off 52 balls) and his partner seemingly destined to do likewise, before Tom Forsdike was introduced to the attack. Holder of the club competition best 7-28, the spinners impact was almost immediate. Two wickets in his second overs removed the dual threat of both Fisher brothers, Adam miscued a sweep to short square leg four runs short of a half-century and younger brother Mark was caught and bowled without scoring. Fellow spinner Clarke Doughney had Freddie Collins caught in the deep and with six wickets down and a required rate exceeding a run a ball the hosts looked to be in the ascendency. Hudson continued to take the attack to the bowlers and in Toby Latham found a willing ally, the seventh wicket pair added 46 in only 36 balls but with victory in sight there was late drama when Leedham trapped Hudson lbw for 90 with seven still needed from nine balls, but Latham with just two previous 1st team appearances back in 2017 held his nerve to pick off the winning runs.
After a world Cup that has inspired a new generation of cricketers what better than a summer of cricket with a county renowned coach at a first class cricket venue.
At Sandhill Lane, July 6.
York won by 71 runs. Woodhouse Grange 0pts, York 10pts.
This clash between the championship holders and the pretenders to their crown, had it gone to form, would have seen Woodhouse Grange open up a seemingly unassailable 35 point advantage and all but ended York’s hopes of retaining their title, but an extraordinary contest has opened up the race not only to these two but the three sides separating them all five now covered by just 15 points. There was little evidence of what was to come as James Billington struck three fours and a six off James Finch to advance the score on to 91-1 in the 15th over. The only wicket to fall that of Jack Leaning, one of six changes to the side which suffered a heavy defeat in the reverse fixture back in early May, he somewhat fortuitously for the hosts hit a full toss from Josh Jackson straight into the hands of Chris Wood at deep square leg. The visitors appeared to be on top of the bowling both Billington and Duncan Snell finding the boundary on a regular basis but everything changed when the York captain having reached 43 failed to clear Steve Burdett at long-on off his opposite number Finch. That dismissal set in motion a collapse which would see six wickets fall for 42 runs in just over an hour. Billington was next to depart the Australian, having come within four runs of a half-century for the second Saturday in a row, top edged a sweep on to his pads, a simple catch ballooning up to the wicket-keeper. Of the next six batsmen only Oliver Batchelor reached double figures before falling to an excellent diving catch by Chirs Suddaby at mid-on, his dismissal came as part of a devastating spell from Chris Wood, the spinner picking up wickets in four of his first five overs at a cost of just eight runs. Daniel Woods and Guy Darwin managed to stem the tide, and put in the context of what was to come, certainly broke the momentum of the match that was all going the way of the home side. The pair saw out 11 overs adding 13 more to the score, and a further 18 came from a last wicket partnership between Clarke Doughney and Darwin, the latter last out for 20 in the final over with the total on 167. Just as the visitors had the hosts began well against the new ball losing only the one wicket in the opening dozen overs, but perhaps crucially it was that of their leading run scorer Andrew Bilton caught low down at point in Jack Leaning’s first over. On an afternoon that will most likely be remembered for the exploits of the spinners Charlie Elliot’s seven over spell of seam played a crucial role as events unfolded before a disbelieving crowd following both sides. Leaning, having picked up the first had a hand in the next three wickets too, twice taking catches at slip off Elliot in between which picking up the valuable wicket of Simon Tennant. The opener had got to 18 before clipping a ball off his pads at pace straight into the hands of Billington at short leg. By the 20th over the fielding side were firmly in charge and clearly relishing their work the scoreboard read 76 for 6 and both Leaning and Elliot had three wickets. The latter gave way to Daniel Woods and the talismanic spinner, still undergoing his cancer treatment, was soon in on the action picking up the wicket of Tom Neal, the former Acomb player one of only three ‘Grange batsmen to reach double figures. Leaning picked up his fourth wicket and Woods the final two as the home side narrowly avoided their lowest ever total in the competition that was 92 against Harrogate in 2016, this time they reached 96.
Congratulations to Billy Armitstead, Elias Smith, Alex Wood and Georgie Flack on their Yorkshire selection.
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